History of West Point football to be published

 Beverly Luttrell, Nita Wyman and Caroline Harrell, hold posters that will become pages in a soon-to-be published History of West Point Football, during the meeting of the West Point Rotary Club. The book will span the years 1920 to the 2017 team.
Staff Writer

A History of West Point football will soon be heading to a publisher, according to Beverly Lutrell, one of the creators of the tribute to the teams of 1920 - 2017.

Lutrell, Nita Wyman and Caroline Harrell have compiled a wealth of information and photos to create the book. The ladies spoke to the West Point Rotary Club, Thursday about what the history will cover.

"My parents, Robert and Caroline Harrell, both graduated from West Point High School in 1955,” Luttrell explained. "They had talked about writing a book about the Green Wave teams at class reunions. After my dad passed away, a Robert Harrell Room was dedicated at the field house. My parents had talked about writing a book on the West Point High School football program for a long time. Now that publication is near, there have been so many people who have helped make this book possible."

Luttrell put out a call to anyone who had photographs that might be added to the compilation of the book.

"We will be at the Bryan Public Library next week to find any photos that we haven't gotten already," Lutrell said. "We have a week before the deadline. If you have any photos of the teams, players, please bring them to us next week. After that, the book is going to the publisher. So we will be thrilled with any photos the public has and wants to share with us to be part of the book."

Harrell said the book will begin at the year 1920 through 2017. There will be acknowledgements of everyone who made this book possible.”

"Chris Chambless, Bubba Davis, Bud Bowen, the late Spanky Bruce," Harrell said. "They are all part of the History of West Point Football. There will be the history of the three fields the team has played on, we tried to cover as much as we could. There will be 16 head coaches and biographies."

Harrell said she and Wyman began the project of putting together the information needed, in January of 2017.

"When Robert and I would start talking about it, we wanted every team roster to be a part of the book," Harrell said. "That was our goal. If there are mistakes, it's from the original rosters."

She said one of the mistakes that they had found was with the name Bryan Harrell. On the roster the name is spelled Brian.

Mark Hazard volunteered a story to the book, He said during his senior year, the team played Aberdeen High.

"They played dirty," Hazard said. "And everyone knew they played dirty. Well, I had had enough of it. During a play we all wound up in a pile and I saw a leg sticking out. I bit it. Hard. After we all got out of the pile and went back to the huddle , Tim Judson came limping up yelling about how one of them bit him. I came clean during our second year of college."

Wyman said there would be a write up on the highlights of every season, by decade.

"It has been a nice walk down memory lane," Wyman said. 'The 1970s was an interesting time. The change was evident with the inclusion of African-American students at West Point High School in 1970. Their contribution to the football team put the Greenies at the forefront of northeast Mississippi football. The West Point High School football team became a force to be reckoned with."

With a large smile, Wyman continued and talked about the 1982 Green Wave team.

"The team in 1982 played in rain, mud and freezing cold," Wyman said. "They came to play. Robert Smith and Shawn Sykes were nicknamed 'Thunder and Lightning.' Coach Bubba Davis taught those boys discipline, a dedicated work ethic and a winning attitude."

The Greenies played the Gulfport Admirals for the state championship that year. Wyman said the Gulfport Coach had been quoted saying he didn't know where West Point was, but the team was probably pretty good to make it that far.

"By the time we beat them and won the state championship, they knew where West Point was," Wyman said.

That lead to two 13 - 0 seasons and another state championship under Davis.

"There will be a page dedicated to the 12 West Point players who have gone on to play professionally," Luttrell said, " And mention of the hundreds of players who went from high school to play on the collegiate level."

There will be more information to follow about the publication and availability of the book in future editions of the Daily Times Leader.